Weed control is an important part of CRP establishment. Left unchecked, weeds will steal away valuable space and resources from your CRP seed. This doesn’t just hurt germination, it might also cause your establishment to fail altogether.
While many weeds can be dealt with through herbicide application and regular mowing, some prove more resistant. One of the most infamous weeds among farmers and landowners is Palmer amaranth.
Not only is Palmer amaranth very hard to kill, it’s also highly aggressive. It can grow between 2 to 3 inches per day. Left untouched, it will reach heights of 6-8 feet. On occasion, it can go as high as 10 feet tall.
A singular stock of Palmer amaranth can contain a million seeds, allowing it to spread rapidly throughout your fields. For farmers, Palmer amaranth decimates crop yields. For CRP contract holders, it can result in establishment failure.
Bill Johnson, a weed specialist at Purdue University Extension says, “It’s the only weed I’ve seen that can drive a farmer out of business.”
So, what can you do to combat this noxious weed?
The Best Defense Against Palmer Amaranth is to Keep It Out of Your Seed
While Palmer amaranth is native to southwestern US and northwestern Mexico, it has continued to push further north and east, reaching as far as Minnesota. How did it get there? One answer is bad seed.
Despite Palmer amaranth being illegal in many states, it often finds its way through thanks to mislabeled and untrustworthy seed mixes. This is why it is so important to purchase your CRP seed mix from a trustworthy CRP seed company.
Once Palmer amaranth is present, it’s very difficult to get rid of. Due to its rapid growth and ability to spread, simply mowing it down isn’t enough. Trying to pull it from the ground is exhausting and futile. Spraying it with herbicide takes multiple rounds, and even then, it might prove ineffective.
Ultimately, if you end up with Palmer amaranth, you might just have to terminate your planting and start over.
Or you could save yourself the trouble and get quality, dependable seed. All Native Seed’s CRP mixes have been reprocessed and specifically tested for Palmer amaranth, along with other pigweeds. The end result is a pure mix with the highest germination rate available.